Weapons and Firearms on University Property

Policy Number: I.04
Policy Level: Operating Policy

Originally Issued: March 13, 2013
Revised: September 13, 2013
Revised: March 9, 2016
Reviewed:  March 7, 2019

Policy Owner: President
Policy Implementation: VP for Financial Affairs

I.  Policy Statement and Purpose

This policy establishes prohibitions and exceptions related to the possession of weapons and firearms on property owned or controlled by the University.  Note: The Alabama Center for the Arts and the Athens State Off-Campus Centers located on community college campuses are subject to the policies and regulations of the Alabama State Board of Education and the Department of Postsecondary Education. The University Center on Redstone Arsenal is subject to applicable state and federal regulations.

The prohibitions specified in this policy apply to all members of the University community, subject to the exceptions detailed below.

The prohibitions and exceptions contained in this policy are established with the intent of ensuring the safety and well-being of members of the University community in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations.

Violations of this policy will result in appropriate action under other applicable University policies and local, state, and federal regulations.

II.  Prohibitions on Possession of Weapons and Firearms

Possession of firearms or other dangerous weapons is prohibited while on property owned or controlled by the University. This includes all buildings, parking lots, and grounds. This prohibition applies to faculty, staff, students, visitors, and guests, and applies whether or not a person in possession of the weapon has a permit to carry or possess the weapon, subject to the exceptions detailed below.

III.  Exceptions

 The prohibition on weapons does not apply to:

  • Duly authorized law enforcement officials of the federal government, state, or of any county, city, or town when in the discharge of their official duties;
  • Civil officers of the United States in the discharge of their official duties;
  • Private police or security personnel when hired by, or under contract with, the University;
  • Law enforcement officers attending the University as students, whose weapons must be concealed unless wearing a uniform or clearly displaying a badge identifying them as an officer;
  • Campus food service knives;
  • Personal weapons in the President’s Residence, as permitted by state and federal law, that are owned by the President or members of the President’s family who reside in the Residence, and in their vehicles for the purpose of transporting on or off campus.
  • Properties owned or controlled by the University that are used for residential purposes.
  • Temporary exclusions granted by a written permit issued by the Chief of University Security or an authorized designee for job-related, educational, or demonstration activities and purposes, where the safety and security of the activities have been considered in granting the exclusion.

In addition, the President may authorize the granting of waivers to faculty, staff, and students holding a valid permit for a concealed weapon. Persons requesting a waiver must complete a Request for Waiver of the Athens State University Weapons Policy form (available in the University Security Office) and must provide a copy of their current permit. If granted, waivers are only in effect for the period in which the permit is valid. Upon the expiration of a permit, the person must submit a new request for waiver showing proof of a current valid permit.

If a waiver is granted, it is with the explicit agreement that permitted weapons may not be removed from a person’s vehicle while on any property owned or controlled by the University, and must be securely stored and concealed when the vehicle is unattended.

The waiver request and permit copy will be maintained in a confidential file available only to the Chief of University Security or other senior administrators.

Waivers will be granted for University employees, with respect to the transportation or storage of a lawfully possessed firearm or ammunition in an employee’s privately owned motor vehicle while parked or operated in a public or private parking area, upon the employee’s satisfaction of the conditions set forth in §13A-11-90(b) of the Code of Alabama and by Legislative Act 2013-283.

IV.  Responsibility for this Operating Policy

Policy Owner

As part of the initial approval of this policy by the President and subsequent to the original dissemination of the policy, the President remains the policy owner for the ongoing evaluation, review, and approval of this policy. Subsequent reviews and revisions to this policy must be in accordance with approved operating policy procedures and processes.

This policy will be reviewed every three years or more frequently as needed by the Policy Owner.  Revisions will be reviewed/affirmed by the Cabinet and approved by the University President.  This policy will be updated/published in the University’s Policy Library.

Responsibility for Policy Implementation

The President has assigned the responsibility of implementing this policy to the Vice President for Financial Affairs.